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Royal Academy celebrates Diamond Jubilee with gift of art for The Queen

Her Majesty The Queen has been presented with a gift of 97 works on paper by the Royal Academy of Arts to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The portfolio includes prints, drawings, photographs and works in oil, watercolour and mixed media, contributed by 93 Academicians. The gift has been added to the Royal Collection and will go on display at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace next autumn. Some of the most high-profile Academicians are represented in the portfolio, including, Tracey Emin, David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and Grayson Perry among others.

The Royal Academy was founded by George III in 1768, and Her Majesty The Queen is the current Patron. The Academy has presented gifts to The Queen on two previous significant occasions in Her Majesty’s reign. The first portfolio was given to mark the Coronation in 1953 and contained work by Augustus John, Sir Alfred Munnings and Stanley Spencer. The second was presented in celebration of The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and included works by Peter Blake, Dame Elisabeth Frink and Carel Weight. Nine Academicians, including Olwyn Bowey, Bernard Dunstan and David Tindle, have contributed to both the Silver and Diamond Jubilee portfolios.

For the Diamond Jubilee portfolio, several Academicians have given works inspired by The Queen’s reign. These include Professor Tracey Emin’s HRH Royal Britannia, a monoprint portrait of The Queen, and sculptor John Maine’s Westminster Abbey, a drawing of the Abbey’s Cosmati Pavement, the spot where The Queen was crowned. The architect Michael Manser has contributed a drawing and photograph of The Queen’s Suite, Heathrow Airport, which he designed in 1988.

Other highlights of the portfolio include: Gillian Ayres, Festive 1; Basil Beattie, Janus Series; Olwyn Bowey, Susie; Sir Anthony Caro, Seated Figure; Maurice Cockrill, Untitled; Eileen Cooper, Couple; David Hockney, 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee, iPad drawing; Anish Kapoor, Untitled; Sonia Lawson, Twin Forms; Leonard Manasseh, Daylight; David Nash, Yellow; Humphrey Ocean, Birds at Ngong; Grayson Perry, Design for Kenilworth AMI; Tom Phillips, Sixteen Appearances of the Union Jack; Richard Long, A Day’s Walk Across Dartmoor; Dhruva Mistry, Head; Joe Tilson, For Her Majesty The Queen a PC from Venice, San Pantalon, Veniesia; Cornelia Parker, Spitting Sugar; Richard" Wilson, Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea.

There are also two Olympic-themed works – Zaha Hadid’s gouache and charcoal work Olympic Aquatics Centre, and Anne Desmet’s wood engraving Olympic Shadows.

The gift was presented to The Queen last month by the Royal Academy’s President, christopher Le Brun, and its Secretary and Chief Executive, Dr Charles Saumarez Smith.

Mr Le Brun, whose work The Complete Journey, is included in the portfolio, said, ‘The Royal Academy of Arts is delighted and honoured to present a unique portfolio of works by current Royal Academicians to Her Majesty The Queen, commemorating the Diamond Jubilee. The near 100 works document the breadth and depth of the Membership, with all categories included: Painters (including Engravers, Printmakers and Draughtsmen), Sculptors and Architects. After an outstanding year for the Royal Academy, the Diamond Jubilee gift represents a key highlight of 2012, and we are looking forward to the public display of the works in 2013.’

Charles Saumarez Smith said, ‘We are delighted to be giving this portfolio of works to The Queen for Her Diamond Jubilee. We are proud of our royal heritage and feel privileged to be able to mark this historic occasion.’

Jane Roberts, Librarian and Curator of the Print Room, Royal Collection Trust, said, ‘The generous gift from the Royal Academicians to celebrate The Queen’s Jubilee is yet another highlight in this wonderful celebratory year. It is hugely exciting to be adding this magnificent body of contemporary graphic art to the Royal Collection. Our preparations for the exhibition in London next year are already well under way, and we look forward to working with the Royal Academy on that important project.’

Appropriately, the Royal Academy gift of works on paper will go on display next autumn alongside an exhibition of drawings and prints by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64), perhaps the most innovative and technically brilliant draughtsman of his time. The Genius of Castiglione and The Royal Academy Diamond Jubilee Gift will be at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace from 1 November 2013 to 16 March 2014.

Tickets and visitor information:
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace,
www.royalcollection.org.uk or +44 (0)20 7766 7301.

Event date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013 - 00:00 to Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 17:00
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